A wild way to learn

Endangered Species Conservation Internship Programs

Promoting ecosystems and wildlife to thrive for generations.

Endangered species conservation interns will gain hands-on, professional field experience, assisting scientists and researchers working on vital projects to protect our most vulnerable species. Boost your resume with practical skills that can set you on the path to a career in sustainable development. This is also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience some of our planet’s most remarkable species in their natural habitats.

Cutting Edge

Cutting Edge

Our programs contribute to world-class research that is leading the critical fight against biodiversity loss.
Ethical

Ethical

We pledge to do good only through meaningful, considered action that can make a proven difference in the world.
Sustainable

Sustainable

Using the UN’s SDGs as a framework, we’re committed to conservation solutions that are built to have a lasting, positive impact.

What is an endangered species conservation internship?

Overview
Species
Locations
FAQs

GVI has been involved in conservation and addressing threats to our marine and terrestrial wildlife for over 20 years. We use specific criteria to guide which endangered species we focus our efforts and resources on: 

  • Does the endangered species form a key part of a food chain?
  • Does the endangered species help the stability or regeneration of habitats? 
  • Is the endangered species important for the health and livelihood of local communities? 
  • Do endangered species face human conflict? 

 

What endangered species do GVI’s wildlife conservation internships focus on? 

Endangered species in Africa:

  • Lemurs in Madagascar.
  • Chameleons in Madagascar.
  • Cheetahs in South Africa.
  • Leopards in South Africa.
  • Lions in South Africa. 
  • Rhinos in South Africa.
  • African elephants in South Africa.
  • Giant tortoises in Seychelles.
  • Green turtles in Seychelles.
  • Hawksbill turtles in Seychelles.
  • Loggerhead turtles in Seychelles.

 

Endangered species in Europe:

  • Whales in the Canary Islands, Spain.
  • Bottlenose dolphins in the Canary Islands, Spain.

 

Endangered species in Asia:

  • Asian elephants in Thailand.
  • White-handed gibbons in Thailand.
  • Green turtles in Thailand. 
  • Hawksbill turtles Thailand.
  • Loggerhead turtles in Thailand.

 

Endangered species in Central & South America:

  • Jaguars in Costa Rica.
  • Green turtles Costa Rica.
  • Hawksbill turtles in Costa Rica.
  • Leatherback turtles in Costa Rica.
  • Loggerhead turtles in Costa Rica.

 

What kind of work does an endangered species conservation intern do?

  • Leading, planning and designing population surveys for endangered species.
  • Curbing illegal trade of wildlife species.
  • Monitoring population levels within protected areas. 
  • Assessing density, occupancy and population levels.
  • Behavioural studies.
  • Acoustic monitoring and data collection.
  • Data collection, entry, analysis, interpretation and research writing.
  • Camera trapping.
  • Contributing towards endangered species policy and strategy.

 

Why it matters

When a species becomes endangered, it’s a sign that an ecosystem is out of balance. The consequences can be critical and can negatively affect the entire food web, including human food safety. Governments across the world use the IUCN Red List to track the status of endangered species, using this information to reduce biodiversity loss. This is essential for preserving the planet and the health of its inhabitants, including wildlife, farmed animals, and humans.

We conduct a range of different activities that support conservation efforts to protect endangered species, including:

  • Endangered species and biodiversity monitoring.
  • Raising awareness about endangered species.
  • Habitat protection and restoration.

 

Who are our endangered species conservation research partners?

We work with governments, non-profit organisations, international organisations and local communities to contribute towards growing the populations of endangered species. We also conduct awareness campaigns aimed at getting more people involved in the conservation of endangered species.

Sea turtles

  • Conservation status: Sea turtles are classified as critically endangered. 
  • Scientific name: Cheloniidae and Dermochelyidae families.
  • Main threats: Habitat modification due to coastal development and erosion of beaches, nest predation, and poaching.

 

What conservation work is GVI doing with this endangered species? 

  • Monitoring and surveying sea turtle nesting beaches.
  • Assessing the success rates of turtle nesting.
  • Working towards reducing instances of poaching.
  • Reducing damage caused to turtle nests due to natural predation.

 

Where can I work with this endangered species? 

We offer sea turtle conservation internship programs in three locations: Costa Rica, Thailand and Seychelles

 

White-handed gibbons

  • Conservation status: White-handed gibbons are classified as critically endangered.
  • Scientific name: Hylobates lar.
  • Main threats: Natural predators hunting for food, illegal pet trade, habitat loss due to agriculture, logging, road construction and impacts related to climate change. 

 

What conservation work is GVI doing with this endangered species? 

  • Habitat assessment.
  • Monitoring gibbon population density.
  • Conducting behaviour studies.
  • Recording gibbon calls and acoustic sampling.

 

Where can I work with this endangered species? 

You can join an endangered gibbons conservation internship in Thailand. 

 

Lemurs

  • Conservation status: Lemurs are classified as critically endangered.
  • Scientific name: Lemuroidea.
  • Main threats: Destruction of habitats from so-called slash-and-burn agriculture, illegal logging, charcoal production and mining, and climate change.

 

What conservation work is GVI doing with this endangered species? 

  • Population assessment.
  • Documentation of sighting and recording of presence of lemurs.
  • Recording observations on behaviour and social structure.

 

Where can I work with this endangered species? 

Madagascar is home to over 110 species of lemurs, and the only place on Earth where these mammals are found.

 

Chameleons

  • Conservation status: Chameleons range from critically endangered to vulnerable.
  • Scientific name: Furcifer pardalis.
  • Main threats: Forest clearing, illegal wildlife trade, and climate change.

 

What conservation work is GVI doing with this endangered species? 

Similar to our lemur project, the primary aim of the project is to establish and monitor current population levels to determine the health of the species. This data is then used to inform necessary conservation strategies. 

Where can I work with this endangered species? 

GVI’s conservation internship programs working with endangered chameleons are based in Madagascar. 

 

Pilot whales

  • Conservation status: Pilot whales are endangered.
  • Scientific name: Globicephala spp.
  • Main threats: Deaths from human activity, including boats, ferries and fishing practices. 

 

What conservation work is GVI doing with this endangered species? 

  • Occupancy studies.
  • Creating a database on whale sightings.
  • Documenting impact of tourism on the species.

 

Where can I work with this endangered species? 

Our pilot whale conservation program is based in Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, a Spanish overseas territory. 

 

Bottlenose dolphins

Conservation status: Bottlenose dolphins are classified as least concern. 

Scientific name: Tursiops aduncus.

Main threats: Commercial fishing practices. 

What conservation work is GVI doing with this endangered species? 

  • Assessing impact of fishing and tourism on current population growth.
  • Studies on behaviour and social interactions.

 

Where can I work with this endangered species? 

In Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, a Spanish overseas territory. 

 

Cheetahs

Conservation status: Cheetahs are vulnerable.

Scientific name: Acinonyx jubatus.

Main threats: Climate change, hunting by humans, and habitat destruction. 

What conservation work is GVI doing with this endangered species? 

  • Work on our cheetah radio collar program.
  • Habitat preference and occupancy studies.
  • Monitor movement, kills, deaths, births, population dynamics and interactions to inform reserve management decisions.

 

Where can I work with this endangered species? 

Our cheetah conservation program is based in South Africa. 

 

Leopards

Conservation status: Leopards are considered vulnerable.

Scientific name: Panthera pardus.

Main threats: Habitat destruction and human conflict caused by real and perceived livestock loss.

What conservation work is GVI doing with this endangered species? 

  • Population assessments.
  • Monitoring the movement, kills, deaths, births, population dynamics and interactions to inform reserve management decisions.

 

Where can I work with this endangered species? 

Our leopard conservation program is based in South Africa. 

 

Lions

Conservation status: Lions are classified as vulnerable.

Scientific name: Panthera leo.

Main threats: Habitat loss, trophy hunting, poaching, and human-lion conflict.

What conservation work is GVI doing with this endangered species? 

  • Documentation of inter-species and social interactions.
  • Kill preference studies.

 

Where can I work with this endangered species? 

Our lion conservation program is based in South Africa. 

 

Rhinos

Conservation status: Critically endangered.

Scientific name: Rhinocerotidae.

Main threats: Poaching and habitat loss. 

What conservation work is GVI doing with this endangered species? 

  • Population status and distribution.
  • Anti-poaching awareness activities.

 

Where can I work with this endangered species? 

South Africa. 

African elephants

Conservation status: African elephants are critically endangered. 

Scientific name: Loxodonta.

Main threats: Poaching, habitat loss, and human-wildlife conflict. 

What conservation work is GVI doing with this endangered species? 

  • Elephant habitat utilisation.
  • Track animals and record data on the age, sex, and behaviour of individuals.

 

Where can I work with this endangered species? 

South Africa. 

Asian elephants

Conservation status: Asian elephants are endangered. 

Scientific name: Elephas maximus.

Main threats: Habitat loss, fragmentation, human-wildlife conflict, and tourism. 

What conservation work is GVI doing with this endangered species? 

  • Assessing social dynamics, welfare and conservation of Asian elephants.
  • Examining the interrelationship between our ethical elephant model and the reintegration of previously captive elephants into the wild.

 

Where can I work with this endangered species? 

Our elephant conservation programs are based with traditional elephant keeping communities in Chiang Mai, Thailand. 

 

Aldabra giant tortoises

Conservation status: Vulnerable.

Scientific name: Aldabrachelys gigantea.

Main threats: Poaching and human encroachment.

What conservation work is GVI doing with this endangered species? 

  • Conducting annual census of tortoise population.
  • Determining tortoise growth rates, home ranges, and ages.
  • Monitoring mating behaviour.

 

Where can I work with this endangered species? 

You can join a tortoise conservation internship on Curieuse Island in Seychelles. 

 

Jaguars

Conservation status: Jaguars are classified as near threatened.

Scientific name: Panthera onca.

Main threats: Habitat loss and human-wildlife conflict. 

What conservation work is GVI doing with this endangered species? 

  • Jaguar feeding behaviour and population studies through camera traps and actual sightings.
  • Beach monitoring to assess the levels of turtle predation.

 

Where can I work with this endangered species? 

Jaguar conservation internships are run out of Cahuita National Park in Costa Rica.

 

We offer wildlife conservation internships focused on endangered species protection in six countries.

 

Endangered species internship in Costa Rica

Conservation internships are based in: Cahuita National Park, a terrestrial and marine national park – unique for its close relationship with the community and an amazing example of shared conservation management between the community and government. 

Habitat/ecosystem: Coastal and tropical jungles.

Species: Jaguar, green turtle, hawksbill turtle and loggerhead turtle.

 

Endangered species internship in Madagascar

Conservation internships are based in: Lokobe National Park on the island of Nosy Be. Known for its black lemur and panther chameleon populations, it’s one of the only places in Madagascar where the original Sambirano forest still exists. 

Habitat/ecosystem: Rainforest.

Species: Lemur and chameleon.

 

Endangered species internship in Seychelles

Conservation internships are based in: Curieuse Island, home to a significant collection of Seychelles’ endemic species, including giant tortoises and three species of marine turtles who use the island to breed and nest. The Seychelles archipelago consists of 115 islands, of which 76 are coralline and the remaining are granitic. Seychelles is known for its atolls – ring-shaped coral reef islands – including Aldabra, the world’s second-largest coral atoll. 

Our research partner: Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority (SPGA).

Habitat/ecosystem: Island and coral reef.

Species: Giant tortoise, green turtle, hawksbill turtles and loggerhead turtle.

 

Endangered species internship in South Africa 

Conservation internships are based in: Karongwe (KA-RONG-WAY) Game Reserve in Limpopo, South Africa – a private game reserve located within the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Reserve. This biosphere represents 1.4% of the land in South Africa but contains 55% of the total natural life found on the subcontinent! The reserve is home to the Big Five: lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo. 

Our research partner: Karongwe Ecological Research Institute.

Habitat/ecosystem: Savannah.

Species: African elephant, cheetah, rhino, leopard, lion.

 

Endangered species internship in the Canary Islands

Conservation internships are based in: The island of Tenerife! Known for its resident population of pilot whales – found alongside a high diversity and density of other whales and dolphin species – within the Tenerife-La Gomera whale heritage site, the first of its kind in Europe. After seeing a rapid rise in tourism in recent years, there is now a recognised need to cap that growth to ensure the local marine mammal populations are not overexploited or negatively impacted by excessive tourism. Habitat/ecosystem: Island and marine.

Species: Dolphin and pilot whale.

 

Endangered species internship in Thailand

Conservation internships are based in: Phang-Nga, a province in southern Thailand, bordering the Andaman Sea on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. Phang-Nga Bay, in southern Ao Phang-Nga National Park, is distinguished by its tall limestone rock-like islets, pristine beaches, and turtle nesting sites. 

Habitat/ecosystem: Coastal and marine.

Species: Green turtle, hawksbill turtle and loggerhead turtle.

 

Conservation internships are based in: Chiang Mai, a close-knit farming community in which Asian elephants are an integral part of village life. The elephants have been reintegrated into the wild after formerly being part of the tourism industry. Mahouts (elephant keepers) are responsible for feeding, walking and bathing their elephants – and we work very closely with these keepers.

Our research partner: Huaypakkoot Elephant Community Foundation.

Habitat/ecosystem: Rainforest

Species: Asian elephant and white-handed gibbon.

What endangered species can I work with as part of my conservation internship? 

GVI works with a range of endangered species. We prioritise species that form a key part of a food chain, help the stability or regeneration of habitats, are important for the health and livelihood of local communities, and species that face human-wildlife conflict. Endangered species you might work with as part of your internship include big cats, cetaceans, elephants, primates, marine turtles and rhinos.

 

Where can I find a job if I complete an endangered species internship?

A large number of organisations are working to protect endangered species. These range from nonprofits and foundations to government agencies and even social enterprises. A few examples of large organisations include: International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), World Wildlife Fund, Jane Goodall Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, Wildlife Conservation Society, Nature Conservation Foundation and Greenpeace.

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Gibbon Conservation Internship in Thailand